On the border of the Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino sits Le Marche Region. The name comes from the medieval March of Ancona, originating from the word “marca.”
The region of Le Marche is known for shoemaking, a tradition that is still apparent there. It is situated between the Appennines mountain range and the Adriatic Sea, giving this region access to incredible skiing excursions on one end, and beautiful beaches for tanning and relaxing on the other.
THE MAGNIFICENT HILLS OF LE MARCHE
The area itself is abundant with hills and winding roads through cliffs and magnificent countryside. The coastline bordering the Adriatic is mainly flat except for Monte Conero, the only coastal high point on this sea. Like many places in this region, it is part of a state park and is a ecological protected area including trails and various historical sites.
As mentioned, Le Marche Region is home to an abundance of nature parks, reserves, and ecological protected sites. The Sibillini National Park is in the Southwest Corner and is the largest and probably most famous. At the center of the park is Monte Vettore, the highest mountain peak in the region. It offers stunning views of the area and encompasses Italy in its entirety.
This incredible natural reserve also is home to some wild areas such as Gola dell’Infernaccio, “Hell’s Gorge,” and Pizzo del Diavolo, “Devil’s Beard,” giant rock walls and dramatic landscape worthy of the names. Aside from high elevations and apocalyptic-looking cliffs, the park also has plains, giving way to fields of flowers in the Spring and early Summer.
The Piano Grande runs rampant with tulips, and other alpine flowers. Throughout the entire park, you can find wild strawberries and raspberries, buckthorn, lilies, and more!
The Conero National Park, mentioned before, is home to the highest elevation point on the Adriatic coastline. This park is full of unbelievable cliff views and thousands of rare species in the plant and bird families. Some delicious grapes used for wines are also found growing wildly through this stretch of land.
No matter which park you venture to, be sure to check out the trekking excursions. You won’t want to miss even one spectacular view possible from the many reserves.
Aside from the preserved areas, Le Marche’s countrysides between charming cities and towns, are just as magnificent. Vast areas of vineyards and orchards cover the rolling hills speckled with farms and other large plantations throughout the region.
The nature in Le Marche is something of dreams or storybooks. The region seems enchanted with all of the small towns nestled within these parks and fields of lush vegetation.
EXPLORE THE CITIES
Le Marche allows you to discover histories through it’s cities of art medieval architecture. The presence of Italian Renaissance history is overwhelming in Palazzo Ducale, the historic center of the city of Urbino, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Castle of Gradara is very well-known, one of the most famous sites of Le Marche region. It’s even more unique in the evening when the castle is lit from the below village. It’s famous for its presence in Dante’s Inferno, as the place here Paolo and Francesca kissed in Canto V.
Ancona is probably one of the most famous cities in Le Marche. It’s an ancient port town, offering beautiful beach as well as magnificent Medieval churches. Worth mentioning is the amazing San Ciriaco cathedral, perched on an ancient Greek acropolis.
ROSSINI OPERA FESTIVAL
Another town on the radar for music lovers, or lovers of artisan craft, is Ascoli Piceno. This city is packed with violin makers workshops. Additionally it is home to Piazza del Popolo, in which you will find the beautiful Palazzo dei Capitani.
For small treat, head to Fano during its Carnival season, usually beginning in February or March. There are floats present for the event in which the people on board throw candies to the crowds of people.
LE MARCHE THE NEW TUSCANY
Le Marche is a region of beauty and charm unlike any other. There is no shortage of things to do or see! It’s well-worth the visit during your trip to Italy and is right in the center, close to Tuscany, Umbria, and right below San Marino.
It’s very easy to get to when you’re also experiencing other places throughout Italy. Safe travels!